Emergency management

Be well prepared to quickly and effectively respond to pipeline incidents.

How CEPA members improve performance

Canada and the world count on pipelines for the safe delivery of the energy they need for life and prosperity. CEPA Integrity First® was created by CEPA members with the primary purpose of continuously improving the performance of Canada’s energy pipeline industry and ensuring the safety of those who live and work around pipelines while protecting the environment.

Through Integrity First, CEPA members work collaboratively to share their knowledge and innovations to drive industry-wide performance improvements in pipeline safety, environmental protection and socio-economic practices. Integrity First enables pipeline companies to work together to make our industry better – focusing on safety, transparency and responsible operations – striving toward our goal of zero incidents.

10 key priorities:

Integrity First cycle
Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage process that is supported by CEPA and built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management.


CEPA members are prepared for any emergency. While pipeline emergencies are rare, operators respond quickly and effectively to incidents through careful planning, ongoing practice and extensive preparation. Emergency exercises are run to practice and tighten procedures. Incidents are examined to improve operations. All members are prepared to come to the aid of other members when called.

Priority commitments

Key Integrity First commitments have been identified to coordinate the efforts of organizations involved to continuously improve emergency preparedness:

  • Regularly assess pipelines and rights-of-way and apply risk-management practices to minimize adverse impacts to people, property or the environment in an emergency situation.
  • Meet or exceed all new and existing regulatory requirements applicable to operations and monitor compliance.
  • Work closely with local emergency response agencies and community members to address their needs and concerns in the event of an emergency.
  • Have emergency response plans in place that follow an internationally recognized emergency response system.
  • Have the equipment, resources and highly trained emergency response personnel necessary to respond effectively in any emergency.
  • Regularly review emergency response plans, conduct drills and share lessons learned with peers to continuously improve response capabilities.
Priority stage

Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage cycle that is supported by CEPA and built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management.

Find out more about the cycle and each stage.

452 Emergency response exercises

In 2018, CEPA members held 452 emergency response exercises, ranging in complexity from emergency drills to full-scale exercises with participation from multiple agencies and jurisdictions, and mobilization of personnel and equipment as if a real emergency had occurred.

Are pipelines safe?

Yes, they are the safest way to transport the energy Canada and the world need. In fact, Canadian transmission pipelines are among the safest in the world.

In 2018, Canada’s 121,000-kilometre network of transmission pipelines moved 97 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and onshore crude oil production to the people who need it (the other 3 per cent was by rail or truck).

Out of 1.6 billion barrels of oil transported by CEPA members, a total of 11.3 barrels were spilled and couldn’t be recovered. These remaining barrels dissipate through volatilization (similar to evaporation) and other natural processes. While this is only a tiny percentage of oil transported, no amount spilled is acceptable to CEPA members, who work toward a common goal of zero incidents.

CEPA members work together to continuously improve what are already among the highest safety standards, and best safety records, in the world. Over 51,000 kilometres of transmission pipeline were inspected from the inside in 2018, and over 2,600 integrity digs were performed to check any anomalies identified. Hundreds of exercises were performed to ensure CEPA member companies’ emergency response teams are prepared. Over $2 billion was spent on monitoring to ensure that your energy was delivered safely.

Canada and the world will need oil and natural gas long into the future, and you can count on CEPA members to get it to you in the safest, most responsible way.